What is Hadith?

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Hadith refers to a religious report in the Muslim community. The Hadith is said to contain text and stories about the things and activities of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Whatever the prophet did or say during his lifetime was said to be recorded in the Hadith. For many Islam followers, the Hadith is considered a record of the prophet’s traditions or way of life. In present times, this religious record is considered vital for Islam followers in terms of following the tradition or footsteps of Prophet Muhammad. Besides the Quran, the Hadith is also considered a religious record for guidance in living the right way.

The life of Prophet Muhammad was said to be recorded in various chapters by those close to him during his time. Muhammad’s so-called companions recorded what Muhammad did and said and these later became the basis for many Islam traditions. For centuries, scholars of the Islam religion were said to verify the accounts or stories included in the Hadith. Each supposed quotation or story about the prophet Muhammad was verified on who narrated it. Unverified reports and entries about the life of the prophet were often labelled as “weak” or even touted as fabricated stories. Only authentic versions and quotes were included in the revered report collection of the Hadith.

With so many stories and narrators who practically contributed in the Hadith, the basic format of the religious book or report involves two basic parts which are the text and narrator listing. The text refers to the actual story or quotation from the prophet and the narrator listing indicates the chain of people who contributed the story. The records were basically passed on from one generation to another starting from the time the prophet Muhammad was still alive. With the verification of authenticity involved in the final version of the Hadith, many Islam followers consider it as a very important religious guide for life.

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